In our latest ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ series, meet Jessica Smith, Physiotherapist at our Rosebud clinic. Our chat revealed how good management of niggling injuries throughout a sporting season can help you achieve great things!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A PHYSIOTHERAPIST?
I have always loved working with people, I have a passion for anything sport related and was always interested and intrigued by the human body. Being a physiotherapist enables me to incorporate all of these passions and interests together.
What does being part of community sport mean to you?
Community sport is everything and I strongly encourage as many kids and families to take part in it. Community sport enables the ability to develop strong friendships, promotes healthy living and active lifestyles and brings communities closer together.
What is your philosophy around injury management?
I’m a true believer in injury prevention. There is a huge space for both recreational and elite athletes to improve their performance and prevent injury through appropriately structured exercise. I believe first and foremost the athlete has to take responsibility for their body, their strengths and weaknesses. As physios, we are here then to assist the individual in identifying and minimizing their injury risk and if injured providing the most effective rehabilitation to return to sport, better and stronger.
What is your proudest sporting moment as a player?
I have been playing netball at a recreational level for the past 17 years. This year for the first time I received B grade best and fairest. I believe the difference in my season this year was taking the time each week to manage my niggles through structured exercise and physiotherapy. I worked closely with a strength and conditioning coach and functional physiotherapist which improved my overall fitness and also enabled me to move better which positively enhanced my on court performance.
What is your worst injury and how did you overcome it?
My worst injury was a badly sprained ankle from playing netball. Initially it had me out of the game for four weeks, it probably should have been at least six weeks. I poorly managed my rehabilitation which then lead to overloading issues at my hip. I have since been dealing with ongoing chronic hip pain as a secondary complication to poorly managed ankle sprain. As mentioned above I have been working closely with a physio and strength and conditioning coach to improve my bodies ability to adapt to load and prevent aggravation of my hip pain. My rehabilitation has been ongoing for the past 12mths but I know feel stronger then ever and continue to improve my level of performance.
Who is your sporting hero and what do you admire most about them?
Jessica Gardiner world champion off road, enduro motorcycling rider. I recently had the privilege of working closely with Jess at the international enduro competition in France. Jess completed the 6 day competition taking out the Aussie world Champion title alongside Tayla Jones and Jemma Wilson after sustaining a fracture to her finger on the first day. I admire her strength and resilience as an athlete and overall positive attitude despite having to ride with severe pain and ongoing aggravation of her injury. Her overall focus and determination was inspirational to all.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?